JRD Tata is one of the most influential and well-known personalities of India. He was a businessman, entrepreneur, and an Indian aviator. He is the son of Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata and Suzanne Briere. JRD was the first person in India to become a licensed pilot and, his mother was the first woman in India to drive a car. He is the founder of various industries under the Tata Group of Companies. Some of the businesses started by him are Titan Industries, Air India, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, and Tata Communications.
JRD Tata Biography – Statistics
- Full Name – Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata
- Date of Birth - 29 July 1904
- Place of Birth - Geneva, Switzerland
- Citizenship - French (1904-1928) and Indian (1929-1993)
- Occupation - Businessman, Philanthropist, Aviator
- Net Worth - $200 million (as of 1990)
- Parents – Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, Suzanne ‘Sooni’ Briere
- Spouse - Thelma Vicaji Tata
JRD Tata Story – Early Life
JRD was born as Jehangir into a Parsi family & was the second child of his parents. His father was the first cousin of Indian businessman and philanthropist Jamsetji Tata. JRD’s mother was French and, thus, his first language is French as he spent most of his childhood in France. He completed his primary education at Janson De Sailly School, Paris. He studied engineering at Cambridge University and served in the French Army for a year. After completing his term in the French Army, his father brought him back to India to join Tata Sons.
JRD Tata - Family and Personal Life
Tata renounced his French citizenship in 1929 and became an Indian citizen (India doesn’t allow the individual to have dual citizenship). He was formerly engaged to Dubai Mehta but, the relationship got broken due to some reasons. JRD married Thelma Vicaji (niece of Jack Vicaji) in 1930. The couple doesn’t have any child and, he died due to a kidney infection at the age of 89.
JRD Tata Success Story – Religious Beliefs
Tata’s father was a Parsi and, her mother followed Zoroastrianism. According to him, he was an agnostic. He found some of the rituals and customs of Parsi as irksome. Although, he did believe in the three basic tenets of thoughts by Zoroastrians, which were good words, good ideas, and good deeds.
Note: JRD never believed in the concept of worshiping any God and following any religion.
JRD Tata Biography – Career Timeline
- Indian Airlines - JRD was always fond of flying. His love for aviation got him the first-ever pilot license issued in India. He also founded Tata Airlines (India’s first commercial airline) and, he was known as the father of Indian civil aviation. It later became Air India, which is the national airline of India.
- Tata Sons - JRD joined Tata Group of companies as an unpaid apprentice. At the age of 34, he got appointed as the chairman of the company. He managed this huge company and its subsidiaries while being interested in hospitality, steel, power, engineering, chemicals, etc. He was also the first person to introduce the eight-hour working day, worker’s provident scheme, free medical aid, worker’s accident compensation scheme, etc. These things later became the statutory requirements in India.
Fun Fact: JRD Tata got famous for doing the business most ethically and refused to bribe any politician or party.
JRD Tata - Companies Founded
JRD founded more almost 7-8 companies under the Tata Group of companies. Some of them are as follows:
- TCS - Tata Computer Center (TCS) was founded by JRD Tata, with JRD Tata as its first chairman. Presently, it is one of the largest Information Technology providers in Asia.
- Tata Motors - Tata Motors was founded in 1950 as a manufacturing unit. It later announced a joint venture with a German Company, Daimler-Benz AG, and expanded to commercial vehicles operation in 1954. Tata Motors was a huge success and, it generated a lot of revenue. This company is one of the best and largest automobile companies in India.
- Tata Communications - The firm was originally a government-owned company, VSNL (Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd.). It got later taken over by the Tata Group and renamed Tata Communications Ltd.
- Titan Industries - Titan industries got founded in 1987, a joint venture with Timex. They set up a massive distribution network across the country. The company has a 60% market share of the Indian market and, they sell their watches in more than 40 countries.
- Tata Tea - Tata Tea is the second largest manufacturer and distributor of tea in the world. They market under the brand names Tata Tea, JEMCA, Good Earth Teas, Tetley, etc.
- Voltas - Voltas is a home appliances company that got incorporated in 1954 in Mumbai. It is a collaboration of M/s. Volkart Brothers and Tata Sons.
JRD Tata Story - Awards and Achievements
Tata is the recipient of various awards and honors. Some of the awards won by him are as follows:
- Bharat Ratna Award - 1992
- Padma Vibhushan Award - 1955
- Tony Jannus Award - 1979
- Gold Air Medal - Federation Aeronautique International, 1985
- Edward Warner Award - International Civil Aviation Organization, Canada, 1986
- Daniel Guggenheim Medal - 1988
- French Legion of Honor - France, 1983
- United Nations Population Award - U.S.A,
JRD Tata - Death and Legacy
JRD died in 1993 due to a kidney infection in Geneva, Switzerland. Upon his death, the Indian Parliament got adjourned. His body got buried in Paris at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery. This honor is not for anyone who is not a member of the Indian Parliament.
JRD Tata - Greatest Indian Philanthropist
JRD Tata is one of the greatest philanthropists of India.
- He established Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and was his trustee for 50 Years
- Founded the first-ever Cancer hospital of Asia in Mumbai (Tata Memorial Centre for Cancer, Research, and Treatment) in 1941
- Founded Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)
- Founded Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS),
- Founded National Center for Performing Art
JRD Tata - Father of Indian Civil Aviation
JRD Tata is one of the most influential people in the history of India. His dedication, smartness, and hard work have made our country come forward in the competitive market. He is an inspiration for all those people who want to become an entrepreneur. This man is an institution in himself and, we can learn thousands of things from his life journey. People like JRD Tata are like a Kohinoor diamond.